By Adia Jildo
The head chief of Mugali suburb of Magwi County in Eastern Equatoria State, John Anzo has reported the death of four people who were killed by herders earlier this week in Mugali citing no reasons known behind the act.
He reported that, these four men were seized from their home and later taken away to meet their deaths although one was killed in an attempt to run away immediately.
“They were got in their home and captured. One tried to run and he was shot dead. The other three were taken far away and two were killed near the river, so that very day, the other two were found dead and one missing,” he said.
He said that, one missing person was discovered dead yesterday, and later the corpse was carried away by the river.
Chief Anzo said, the situation is dire as most of the people who fled their homes have settled in a church in Nimule with little food donated by the RRC to support their lives.
“We are all tired of this life. We want the government to see this kind of situation so that we don’t live in this kind of life forever. These cattle herders and cattle should evacuate because our entire livelihood depends of farming,” he said.
The area chief further said that, Mugali village has been left with only old people who were unable to flee for their lives.
However, the Commissioner of Magwi County, David Otto stated that presence of cattle herders has posed a threat to locals, as areas occupied by the herders become insecure.
The Commissioner stressed that, an agreement between cattle herders and the government to evacuate farmland haven’t bore fruit as presence of herders is being seen and their brutal acts are still being registered.
“These cattle keepers are now criminals. These are not real cattle keepers who can understand because they are leaving in the area for grazing purpose,” he said.
He noted the acts of rape, murder committed by cattle herders in areas where they intrude become persistent, citing the brutality that has left the village of Panyikwara, Abara, Maji, and Mugali insecure.
He stated that, attempts to vacate cattle herders seem impossible as cattle herders have paid deaf ears to the order.
“The problem now is that we don’t know whether they will move out of the place,” he continued. The order has been passed for them to evacuate. It’s the final decision and the community is also demanding for their evacuation so that they start farming as the rainy season has approached,” Commissioner Otto said.
In addition, Mr. Otto said that the movement of cattle herders is seen inward Magwi County in areas of Nimule, despite a call for them to return to their places of origin.
He said that the security personnel are stationed in the areas of Mugali to rescue the situation because they work with order.
“The command is the one to drive the herds of cattle. There is a military that is already organized by the central government. The ones in the areas where cattle are placed are to control whatever happens to the community,” the government official said.
Nevertheless, the Commissioner called on the government to send escorts to enable evacuation of cattle herders occupying areas in Magwi in order to give space for farmers to start agricultural activities.
“I need the intervention of the national government as they have formed the forces that can drive the cattle away. The community is our community and we want them to support the county. It has already started raining,” he said.
He said the herders have left the county insecure due to the atrocities they have committed.